Saturday, June 11, 2022

Getting ready -- a lot of work...

My new show opens four weeks from yesterday and I'm now in the stage that is probably the least fun.  All the art is made, but it has to be made ready to hang.  I've made about 20 hand-stitched pieces in varying shapes and sizes, most of them pretty small, and to make a cohesive body of work they're all going to be mounted on stretched canvases, covered with black fabric.  

Unfortunately, the black fabric is not tightly woven (I bought the cheapest cotton in the store) so the white canvas shows through when it's tightly stretched.  So I had to paint the outer border of the canvas black first. 

Then to the stretching.  The parts in the middle are easy to do, but the corners are tricky if you want them to be as flat as possible.  (The purchased canvas already has a triangle of three layers at each corner, so perfectly flat isn't going to happen, but by pulling tight you can get them to fold neatly, without bulges.)  

I do this by pulling and pinning and inspecting and pulling some more and repinning everything before putting in the final staples in the corners.  

I sew the embroideries to the canvas,  sometimes with the stitches invisible (time-consuming, but it's almost like magic when you're done) and sometimes visible.  Fortunately it's easy to stitch through the canvas and sometimes I got into a groove, carrying many of the stitching lines off the original fabric and well onto the background.  

I am deliberately avoiding calculating how much time it takes me to get a "finished" embroidery onto a canvas.  If I did, I'd probably realize that I'm paying myself a minimum wage of about 95 cents an hour.  But there are compensations, such as seeing a big stack of canvases, all looking the same, ready to go.


  1. do wish all goes well with hanging the show and the best of luck with it.... Irene from N Ireland

  2. I know how much work it is and how hard it is to get those corners perfect. My group has a show every year and they have to be on a 30" black square canvas. Most of us just paint the canvas with black gesso. I know it's not the same look as the fabric, but it's a whole lot easier.
    I love your little embroideries and how you sometimes brought stitches into the background.
    Good luck with the show! Wish I lived closer.

  3. Thanks for showing in depth how you mount these little embroideries onto the canvas. Good way to present without covering with glass. Fiber art needs to be seen without a barrier (IMHO). But I know most folks elevate it to Art only if framed under glass. *@#!*